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How you know when you need a real script writer for your industrials

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Mark SuszkoHow you know when you need a real script writer for your industrials
by on Mar 22, 2010 at 7:42:12 pm









I think every one of us has worked on a project like this at some point.



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Jason JenkinsRe: How you know when you need a real script writer for your industrials
by on Mar 22, 2010 at 8:20:02 pm

Please tell me that was a parody!

Jason Jenkins

Flowmotion Media

Video production... with style!


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Mark SuszkoRe: How you know when you need a real script writer for your industrials
by on Mar 22, 2010 at 8:38:33 pm

It certainly is a good test for your on-camea spokesperson! Somewhere there's a clip of Phil Hartman doing one like this on SNL.

But my point was more along the lines of making your communication understandable to the audience.


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Timothy J. AllenRe: How you know when you need a real script writer for your industrials
by on Mar 22, 2010 at 10:57:23 pm

I'm sharing this with my NASA colleagues! Now, any pointers to a video that models how to simply and accurately explain something that's technically complex?

I've used this as an example in the past:
http://www.commoncraft.com/video-wikis-plain-english

The problem with that particular example is that people get tied up thinking that we need that same style (including the animation style) to to achieve the goal of clear communications. That's not my point. So... would any of you point to samples that might help illustrate the value of good corporate scriptwriting?







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Mark SuszkoRe: How you know when you need a real script writer for your industrials
by on Mar 23, 2010 at 4:28:11 pm

One of the best shows for this that I ever watched was "The Day The Universe Changed", written and hosted by British history and science writer James Burke. He was able to use everyday language and symbols and props to illustrate a lot of abstract concepts with laser sharp clarity.

Somebody else who is just as good at this in his own way is Alton Brown on "Good Eats" when he illustrates the biochemistry in food preparation. Alton's props and style are generally more on the goofy and kid-friendly side, but listen to the monologue and see how he walks you thru the context and then the explanation. I think that's the key. His writing and performance is every bit as creative and insightful as the funky camera direction and editing of the show. I'm obviously a big fan.

Also, still a fan of John's book on Corporate Screenwriting, which covers a lot of this same territory, specific to corporate vide.


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Paul HudsonRe: How you know when you need a real script writer for your industrials
by on Mar 23, 2010 at 10:53:35 pm

Employed in conjunction with a drawn reduction dingle arm!

This is going on my letter head.

Paul Hudson
Lizardlandvideo.com
Phoenix Video Production


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Scott CarnegieRe: How you know when you need a real script writer for your industrials
by on Mar 24, 2010 at 1:19:04 am

I imagine that someone in that industry would understand what he's talking about.

http://www.MediaCircus.TV
Media Production Services
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


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Bill DavisRe: How you know when you need a real script writer for your industrials
by on Mar 24, 2010 at 2:49:37 am


The overall topic - as well as this 1997 video (one of a long line of corporate "in jokes" on the subject) is so famous that it has it's own wiki entry...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turboencabulator



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cowcowcowcowcow
Mark SuszkoRe: How you know when you need a real script writer for your industrials
by on Mar 24, 2010 at 3:09:26 am

Scott, you know that whole script is made-up words, right? I'm going to assume you're just playing the straight man.

What it is illustrating is that bad technical writing and bad delivery very easily falls into a familiar cadence, a meaningless mumble, and it all rolls on and on like that until the film runs out the projector and the lights come up. And you're left no better informed or motivated than before.

As far as vocabulary, of course you don't have to write down to an audience; if the audience are all postgrad astrophysicists, you don't need to simplify things down to baby talk. You engage them at their own level, which may include VERY esoteric stuff. But you can at least get the simple things right.

You can strip the language down, remove the passive language, for a start. Scientific and technical papers follow a very specific form and order, and in them, lots of references are nested and cross-indexed. You can read that stuff and get what you need out of it, but you can't call it a script just because you read the paper out loud. You can't run bullet points thru MS Powerpoint and call it a script, any more than reading a contract out loud is a script. You have to re-cast the message for the medium and for the specific circumstances and audience, and you build it custom, every time. You craft it. Your tools are structure, visual metaphor, and aural equivalents; you tell the message in words and images and sounds combined, so they not only reinforce each other, they create something more than just the elements alone. They don't call the writer of a play a play-writer, they call him or her a playwright, because the play isn't written, its wrought. Forged. Beaten into a useful shape like red-hot black iron. That's how I like to think of the script; as a tool or weapon made by hand, strong but with all the extraneous weight and bulk pared away and the working end honed to a razor edge.

Yes, I sit here typing dressed like Conan the Barbarian, why do you ask? :-)


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Bill DavisRe: How you know when you need a real script writer for your industrials
by on Mar 24, 2010 at 7:51:46 pm



RE: "They don't call the writer of a play a play-writer, they call him or her a playwright, because the play isn't written, its wrought. Forged. Beaten into a useful shape like red-hot black iron. That's how I like to think of the script; as a tool or weapon made by hand, strong but with all the extraneous weight and bulk pared away and the working end honed to a razor edge."

Dear Mark,

A - Bravo.

B- This is a superb example of why writers are writers and people who aren't writers are not.



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Mark SuszkoRe: How you know when you need a real script writer for your industrials
by on Mar 24, 2010 at 8:33:12 pm

That's not a hundred percent my own idea, but I fully subscribe to it.


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Noah KadnerRe: How you know when you need a real script writer for your industrials
by on Mar 29, 2010 at 4:56:41 pm

The presenter totally rocks though- that's not easy dialogue to get through and he totally nails it.

Noah

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